Taekwondo first appeared at the Summer Olympic Games as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The opening ceremony featured a group demonstration of taekwondo with hundreds of adults and children performing moves in unison.
Taekwondo was again a demonstration sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It became a full medal sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and has been a medal sport since then.
Under World Taekwondo Federation and Olympic rules, sparring is a full-contact event that takes place between two competitors in an area measuring 8 meters square. A win can occur by points, or if one competitor is unable to continue (knockout) the other competitor wins. Each match consists of three semi-continuous rounds of contact, with one minute's rest between rounds. There are two age categories: 14–17 years and 18 years and older.
In 2010, Taekwondo was accepted as a Commonwealth Games sport.